Dolan, Clapcich, Roberts, Costa first words on the dock

Published on 17/09/2021

Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa - Kingspan), Francesca Clapcich (USA/ITA Fearless Marathon Street Sailing), Alan Roberts (GBR, Seacat Services), Alan Roberts (GBR, Seacat Services), Pep Costa (ESP, Cybele Vacances-Play to B) first words on the dock in Saint-Nazaire.

Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa - Kingspan) : “It’s great to get that first podium on La Solitaire but the cherry on the cake was being first round The Fastnet, that was a bit special for me. It was cool. I did really just stick to my plan in the English Channel I had seen there was more breeze in the west. And there was some herd mentality going on with everyone sticking together. I spent that whole night on my own not really knowing where anyone was in the thick fog then about six in the morning it got light and there was a break in the fog and I could see the whole fleet to windward. “It ends the season on a high. It shows what I am capable of when I can get to the front. I feel great, just delighted. I am a bit tired, but I really feel good. I can’t wait for next year. I have to have more confidence in myself. The second leg I was just not good and into Roscoff it was bad luck, bad timing to get stuck like that.”

Francesca Clapcich (USA/ITA Fearless Marathon Street Sailing): “Finally, finally a good leg. I am tired but it was so nice to race in a group of boats. I seem to have good speed downwind and also like my decision making and positioning downwind was quite good, definitely better than upwind. That was the leg for me because we never took the kite down from the start. A few times was the first to make a move on the windshifts. I was really trying to work the gybes to stay on the making gybe.

It has been an incredible experience and I really want to make sure I am back next year, to find the funding to do a whole season. I have learned so much it would be a waste not to be able to go on and do it again. I loved the challenge, it is so hard even if you are doing well, you are always working hard. The emotions are there. It is crazy to be out there just relying only on yourself.”

Alan Roberts (GBR, Seacat Services): “It is a good result but I feel like I am so on the cusp of doing better. I was very happy to get on the podium for Stage 3, that is so much a step in the right direction and proves I can do it, as much to myself as anyone else. I sailed a couple of times up through the fleet, and I had a good comeback on that leg. I feel closer every time at the end of every La Solitaire that I just want to get out and do it all again. I feel like I have so much I want to do that I want to get right back out there. I am hungry for it. But I feel good for all that it was a long race, maybe I looked after myself and prepared better.

Pep Costa (ESP, Cybele Vacances-Play to B): “I had a good leg, I sailed well and I am proud of that. I out a lot of effort. On this leg everything was going well and I was very sure the wind would come in in the south but it didn’t and so that was a bit disappointing, so that was a tough reality. I am happy to get to the end of the race in one piece with the job done. The level is so high, you have to work so hard. You have to start every leg like it is a new race. I had a bad first leg but kept pushing and after that I did three good legs, getting better all the time. I have a lot of things to improve. “


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